Bryan Sykes

Adam's Curse
  • Adam's Curse

  • Genetically speaking, the only difference between men and women is that where women have two X chromosomes, men have one X and one Y. It is surprising that one chromosome difference out of our total of forty-six can have such an important consequence, but it does. Is this relatively small genetic variance really sufficient to explain the huge differences between the sexes, not just the physical but the psychological, social, even cultural?

    Drawing on his own work at the forefront of modern genetics and the exciting theories of evolutionary biology, Bryan Sykes explores the mysteries of the science of sex and gender, and takes a scientific look at what makes men tick. He addresses the most basic issues of why there are only two sexes in humans and, even, why there is sex at all. He also raises more far-reaching questions, such as: Is there a genetic cause for men's greed, aggression and promiscuity? Is there such a thing as the male homosexual gene? And what do genes tell us about the future for men?

    Sykes's conclusions will surprise some people and are bound to cause controversy. The all-important male Y chromosome is getting smaller and, as the generations pass, the female genome is taking over as it cannibalizes parts of the Y chromosome. Women are winning the evolutionary battle of the sexes. The shocking conclusion is that men, slowly but surely, are headed for extinction.

Bryan Sykes is Professor of Human Genetics at the University of Oxford, has had a remarkable scientific career in genetics. After undertaking medical research into the causes of inherited bone disease, he set out to discover if DNA, the genetic material, could possibly survive in ancient bones. It did and he was the first to report on the recovery of ancient DNA from archaeological bone in the journal "Nature" in 1989. Since then Professor Sykes has been called in as the leading international authority to examine several high profile cases, such as the Ice Man, Cheddar Man and the many individuals claiming to be surviving members of the Russian Royal Family. He is the author of The Seven Daughters of Eve and Adam's Curse.